CPA 9th Congress April 2001


CPA Congress maps a path

The Communist Party's 9th Congress was launched on Easter Friday evening 
with a packed hall meeting in Sydney. Party delegates from across Australia 
and many Party friends from Sydney listened to fine speeches by the Party's 
General Secretary, Peter Symon, CPA President, Dr Hannah Middleton, the 
National Secretary of the MUA, Paddy Crumlin and Aboriginal activist Kevin 
Tory. Andrew Jackson presented a greeting on behalf of the Communist Youth 
of Australia.

The meeting was chaired by Steve Gibson, a Central Committee member from 
Victoria, who welcomed representatives from the Embassies of the People's 
Republic of China, Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Lao People's 
Democratic Republic as well as the representatives of trade unions and a 
number of community and solidarity organisations.

The program commenced with Glen Doyle playing the didgeridoo and the 
audience was welcomed to Aboriginal land by Kevin Tory of the Trade Union 
Committee on Aboriginal Rights.

The recently formed choir of the Communist Youth of Australia entertained 
as did the El Salaam Group who presented a very enjoyable selection of 
progressive Arabic music.

In an impassioned keynote address Dr Hannah Middleton said: "We are living 
in exciting times. I am sure you have felt the pulse of it, as resistance 
grows to corporate greed and the political and economic powers of the 
transnational corporations  the clothes that capitalism wears today.

"Many people are no longer just dreaming about a better world  they are 
doing something about it.

"What is forcing people into resistance today?", she asked.

"The transnational corporations condemn millions of people to lives of 
poverty, hunger and sickness; they destroy food to keep prices high; they 
make super-profits from the sweat and blood of child labour; they go to war 
against people struggling for progress and independence; they savagely 
attack democratic rights; they abuse and exploit indigenous peoples; they 
impoverish women, plunder the world's forests, minerals, oil and other 
resources; they cause massive, often irreversible ecological damage.

"In the Communist Party we have a vision of an alternative to the political 
and economic system of the TNCs. Our aim is a world without transnational 
corporations.

"Publicly owned enterprises must play a major role in the economy. In our 
vision of an alternative society, the purpose of the economy must be to 
fulfil people's needs, not to produce ever-increasing wealth for private 
corporations. We are working to finally replace the capitalist system with 
a socialist one", she said.

"The real challenge to the power of the TNCs comes from the people, from 
actions of the trade unions, environmental organisations, small farmers, 
Aboriginal communities, people fighting against privatisation, for their 
local schools and hospitals.

"All these movement have to link up to form a united national political 
alliance. Alliances are effective and powerful and can create enthusiasm 
and win considerable support.

"In the Communist Party we are committed to building the unity, the breadth 
and the power of the growing resistance movement. We are dedicated to 
developing the resistance into the revolutionary movement that can and will 
make this 21st Century the century of socialism", she concluded to rousing 
applause.

Peter Symon in a short address said that the CPA is a working class party.

"Workers build the world, they make what we have and have to save the world 
from impoverishment, unemployment, war, degradation and racism."

He asked the question: "What is the Communist Party on about?"

He answered: "It is about doing things for people and making life better. 
It's about stopping individual contracts and sackings, winning better wages 
and health and safety conditions. It's about solidarity with Cuba and aid 
to Ireland and the children of Iraq. It's about peace and independence for 
our country and others like Bougainville, East Timor and West Papua. We are 
internationalists."

He continued: "But that's only a beginning. We workers are builders, 
creators, nurses, those who work at home, the women, the youth, the 
migrants who are not yet the owners of our country.

"We make all sorts of things but do not own them, we work the land and toil 
for the banks, we build big buildings, buses, cars, mine the coal, but we 
do it for others who lick the cream.

"What we want is very simple  we call it socialism".

He concluded: "There is power in the workers, power in the unions, power in 
our ideas because it's simple, it's truth, it's freedom, it is the workers' 
own New World Order."

Paddy Crumlin presented best wishes to the CPA Congress. He said that 
corporate greed had never been so institutionalised. The catchcry of the 
corporations, the IMF, World Bank and WTO is the rights of the individual.

The ruling class he said, tells us that there is no class, but any 
opposition is reviled.

It claims that Marxism is dead, socialism has expired. People want social 
justice and national sovereignty.

Marx gave us a vision to reach our ultimate potential in peace, 
compassionately and co-operatelively, said Mr Crumlin.

"Our collective challenge is to realise our potential" and "to work 
together to achieve that", Mr Crumlin concluded.

The opening night function was followed by three day's of discussion and 
the finalisation of the Political Resolution which is a substantial 
statement of the Party's analysis and policies in the present Australian 
and world situation.

Peter Symon presented a report on the work of the Central Committee over 
the last four years and this was followed by an introduction to the 
Political Resolution by Anna Pha, CC member and editor of The 
Guardian. Congress endorsed both reports and adopted the Political 
Resolution. It also elected a new Central Committee.

A number of special resolutions were adopted dealing with the Party's 
approach to the coming Federal elections, about building the Party in the 
workplace and in the trade union movement (see page 8), and supporting a 
conference later this year to formally establish the Communist Youth of 
Australia.

Other resolutions called to stop US National Missile Defence Plans and 
condemned the plans to hold giant US-Australia military exercises called 
Tandem Thrust. Another resolution called for maximum encouragement and 
assistance to women members to enable them to participate fully in party 
life.

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